tv The Situation Room CNN October 6, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
in the meantime i'm don lemon. a few seconds left here. your favorite bond movie? bond character? i'm don lemon. here's wolf blitzer and "the situation room." see you in an hour. >> you're in "the situation room. the obama and romney camps spar over new jobs number as the president tries to rebound from his weak performance in his first debate. computer technology helps us get a sense of what the candidates might have been thinking and feeling on the stage. and big bird gets a shout out in the presidential race. will he be an endangered species after the election? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the "situation room."
exactly one month before election day, there's a new dynamic in the race for the white house. after mitt romney outperformed the president in the first debate. and now knew jobs numbers are likely to provide more fuel for their next debate. the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 7.8 in september down from 8.1 the previous month and the lowest since january 2009. a separate survey of employers shows businesses added 114,000 jobs last month. and let's bring in jessica yellen. what's the obama white house saying about all of this? >> they're effectively saying that the economy, while it's
still weak, is showing signs that the president's policies are working, that his agenda is finally getting traction in the economy. here's what the president had to say. >> there are too many middle class families that are still struggling to pay the bills. they were struggling long before the crisis hit. but today's news certainly is not an excuse to try and talk down the economy to score a few political points. it's a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now. >> that was friday right after the jobs numbers came out. i'll point out two meaningful things about those jobs numbers. one, you recall when his stimulus plan cameut somebody in his administration said with the stimulus plan. it was never a promise, a projection. symbolically it's meaningful this is now below 8%. also now it's fallen for the first time not because fewer
people are looking for jobs. actually, the number of people looking for jobs rose slightly. so it's two pieces of good news for the obama campaign in a weak they really needed something. >> the bad news was the president's own performance in the debate. i'm told the president knew he didn't do a good job. so the question is what are they going to do to change it looking ahead to the next debate. >> they'll have to bring it. the president did not go on the attack. part of that was deliberate because they think the biggest as et he has is his likability. they think voters find him a nice guy and they don't want to risk that at any cost. but it actually cost him in that debate, because not going on the attack meant he didn't defend his own policies and now they're saying mitt romney was dishonest. well, they're saying it too late. the president needed to call him on the stage. i think you'll see him call him out more on the stage. the question is he has to calibrate it carefully because in past seasons you'll seen al gore was too passive and over
correct it. >> why didn't he respond more, why didn't he talk about that 47%? >> they're not giving a good answer to that. again it was partly on the 47%, he wanted to ask the questions. he wanted to ask the questions asked. the president sometimes finds the scenarios silly. he finds it all so false and the setup and the politics are a game. he seems to remove himself from the moment as a person. and this is a moment you can't do that. and sometimes incumbent presidents do that. they don't take the bull by the horns. i think you'll see a different performance next time. >> i think you're right. the romney campaign certainly has a far different response to the new jobs numbers saying this is not what a recovery looks like.
after claiming viktry in his first debate with president obama. let's bring in jim acosta. >> after a couple of days of positive reviews, mitt romney is running into political news that may be blunting some of that momentum. the jobs report is taking away a key line of attack for the gop contender for months. romney has said the president has failed to bring the nation's unemployment rate below 8% but romney found a new way to crunch numbers here in virginia. >> campaigning in virginia coal country, mitt romney tried to dig through the latest jobs number to make the case president obama has not pipay dirt just yet. >> there were fewer new jobs created this month than last month. and the unemployment rate has come down very slowly, but it's come down nonetheless. the reason it's come down this year is primarily due to the
fact that more and more people have just stopped looking for work. >> still, one of romney's key metrics on the president's handling of the economy went up in smoke, when the nation's unemployment rate dipped below 8%. >> 8% unemployment for over how many, 43 months? >> we still have unemployment above 8%. >> he told us he would get us back to work and hold unemployment above 8%. >> unemployment month after month after monday. >> reporter: it's a political bar mitt romney has accused the president of failing to clear for months. >> we've had 43 straight months with unemployment above 8%. if i'm president, i will help create 12 million new jobs in this country, with rising incomes. >> reporter: but romney knows the president has fallen short of estimates set by the administration's own economic advisers who wants predicted the stimulus would lower the jobless
rate to 6%. >> what's happened this has been the slows recovery since the great depression. he said right now we would be at 5.4% unemployment. >> president obama says he's creating jobs. but he's really creating debt. >> a couple of nights ago. we had a debate. you may have gotten a chance to see that. >> reporter: before the new jobs numbers, romney had been widing a wave of momentum. he even got a pass from the president, who never mentioned romney's comments on the 47% of americans who don't pay income taxes. >> 47% of the people will vote for the president no matter what. >> with an ad still repeating those rorks, romney tried to put an end to the controversy once and for all on fox. >> clearly in a campaign with hundreds and thousands of speeches, now and then you're going to say something that doesn't come out right. in this case i said something that is completely wrong.
>> reporter: romney next heads to florida. that state's unemployment rate has gone down in recent month, is still well above the national average. wolf? let's bring in our chief political analyst gloria borger and ron bronstein. gloria, the new numbers, how will they impact the president? >> they're a great talking point for the president. very important to be below 8%. the president can't say these are fabulous, this is great. he has to say no, we're heading in the right direction. and that's what's really key for him. republicans and mitt romney of course are saying you know what? this isn't moving fast enough. but at least for the president, after his poor debate performance, now has some good news to hang on to. and something he can point to. and say okay, right direction.
>> because people could easily understand 8.1%, 7.8%, right track, wrong track. that looks like the right track. >> a little bit of psychological milestone that it's back to the level it was when he took office. after that decline. but overall i would say these numbers are kind of, you know, warm water, not a big boost. in a sense that earlier this year when the economy was growing, producing 200,000 jobs a year, it looked like the economy might be enough to lift obama to a safe level, then the big spring slow down, and now i think we're getting numbs, whether it's growth or jobs that are really neither, that point you again to a close race. it's been a modest up tick in economic optimism. but i think these kind of numbers reinforce the sense we have in the race itself that you don't have a decisive wind blowing in either direction at this point. >> voters are already beginning to feel a little more optimistic. we see that in the polls.
this will add to a sense of optimism and that's good for the president. >> i think a little more but not vastly more. it's not a strong tail wind but it's better than a head wind. >> let me play a couple of clips. i want to discuss what he's saying. listen to this. >> what's happened is this has been the slowest recovery since the great depression. as a matter of fact, he said right now we would be at 5.4% unemployment. instead, we're at 8.1%. >> we've had 43 straight months with unemployment above 8%. if i'm president, i will create -- help create 12 million new jobs in this country with rising incomes. >> so now it's 7.8%. so how much damage does this due to romney's line aboutle 8%? >> he can't use that particular line but i don't think it changes things that much. my sense talking to voters is that there are a slice of voters who give obama credit for avoiding the worst. the things he did in 2009,
they're grateful they're not living in another depression. but there is a sense in many voters that things are not improving fast enough. and again, i think this is a small tail wind for him at pushing back at that perception but not something that is fundamentally going to change those doubts. >> and mitt romney will still talk about the 23 million unemployed in this country. >> and under employed. >> right. and he's going to continue to hit that and say that the president hasn't solved the problem quickly enough. the problem for romney is he's walking a fine line. because when there's good news, he can't seem to be dour about it because he's depending on bad news. so he does walk a fine line. >> it's good news for the country if there are jobs being created. >> and the other thing is how baked in people's minds. >> it's past the point where the
perception has changed very much. >> here's what you wrote. one of those vulnerabilities is obama's inability so far to enlighten voters about the second-term joend. to the extent the president outlined goals during the debate, they were largely defensive. >> i think he was criticizing the ryan-esque vision on medicare and taxes. it's hard to say what else he displayed passion about. i have felt all year this is the biggest hole in their campaign. i don't think he has given americans a clear sense of what he would do to make the next four years better than the last four years. there was almost no second-term agenda. things that have been -- what is it that obama himself wants to do? certainly in this next debate he's going to be more aggressive. can he be more persuasive about his own plans? >> and mitt romney ought to be
more aggressive in pushing the president to talk about his agenda. because of course the president is tying him to the ryan budget, for better or worse, what is he going to do about medicare, what's he going to do about tax reform. it is true that romney hasn't put a lot of meat on the bones when it comes to what he would do to reform the tax code. what deductions would he cap. he started getting at that a little bit this past week. well, then why doesn't he push the president for some more details and the president can push back? i think with the american public, and i think you're 100% right. they want to say okay, where would you take us in the next four years? there's a danger of appearing to be over ambition. >> i think stopping the republicans -- and ending the entitlement to medicare and medicaid and implementing his health care plan. beyond that what is he burning to accomplish over the next four years. does he believe he can truly do a grand bargain and what would
that look like. in some ways pt best indication would be the behind the scenes reporting. >> but nobody wants to talk about it because it might get them in trouble. the closest mitt romney came during the debate he talked about means testing medicare which would mean that wealthier beneficiaries paying more. >> he's on record for converting it into a supreme -- >> which could get him in a lot of trouble. >> we know obama is passionate about blocking those ideas. but what is his agenda for the next four years. >> maybe we'll see in the next debate or two. >> maybe he'll get pushed on that. >> thanks very much. a lot of harsh words were certainly flying after that first presidential debate. up next, we'll here from an ally calling the strategy disastrous.
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his debate performance fell flat and now they're arguing that mitt romney fooled voters during that faceoff. i spoke to bernie sanders of vermont about the debate performance and started by showing some confusing statements from the president. listen to this. >> governor romney and i both agree our cooperate tax rate is too high. we both agree we've got to boost american energy production and it appears we've got some agreement that a marketplace to work has to have some regulation. i suspect that on social security we've got a somewhat similar position. >> you understand what he was trying do there? >> yeah, i do. >> i got a bit confused. >> i think you're right, wolf. and i think that is a disastrous approach. the truth of the matter is mitt romney right now is the head of a right-wing extremist party called the republican party. it wasn't always the case. that's what they are today. if the president cannot differentiate himself clearly
from right-wing extremism, we've got a lot of problems as a nation and he's got problems as a candidate running for re-election. in terms of social security, it is absurd for the president to say that he and romney are coming down in the same way. social security today has a $2.7 trillion surplus. social security hasn't contributed one nickel to the deficit, can pay out benefits for the next 20 years. the president should be saying now what he said four years ago. he is not going to cut social security while romney and ryan certainly are. >> would you blame the president himself or his aides and advisers who were supposedly preparing him for this first debate? >> wolf, all of us in public life like to blame our staff when things go bad, but you know what, at the end of the day, it's the president, it's a united states senator, it's a congress person. we've got to take responsibility. the president should have got in there swinging, differentiating
what a progressive policy position is as opposed to an extreme right wing one. put romney on the defensive. how dire you give tax breaks to the richest people in this country while we have the most unfair distribution of wealth and income. how dare you throw children off of medicaid when we've got 50 million people without any health insurance today. put him on the defensive instead of saying oh, i agree with you on this. i agree with you on that. you've got to take responsibility and the responsibility is with the president. >> we'll see if he follows your advice in the next debate and the one after that. they're expressions may tell more than their words. we're taking a look at some special face reading software and what it reveals about the presidential debate. ♪ at quicken loans, our amazingly useful mortgage calculator app allows you to quickly calculate your mortgage payment based on today's incredibly low interest rates...
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political observers were poring over every word the candidates said in the presidential debate, a software program was analyzing their expressions. brian todd talked to the man behind it. >> reporter: chris coal wasn't focusing on taxes, he was looking at how they looked. >> governor romney was much more suppressive than president obama was. kowel is an expert in emotions. he employees software called face reader, traditionally used by marketers to measure people's responses to products and he applies it to political candidates. the software creates super imposed mesh masks on their faces which kowel says measures the muscle moments. >> in this feature here, you can
see his eyebrows are slightly up. and this would suggest an emotion of surprise. but at the same time, when you look at how his lips and nose are, that might represent something about a negative type of an emotion of disgust or something like that. >> reporter: the clenched lips combined with the surprised eyebr eyebrows, he says that he saw with romney. >> by communicating that type of anger or scorn, romney i building a bridge that connects to those voters. >> reporter: by contrast, president obama was expression neutral. >> in a sales deal, obama can't close a sale.
we're seeing if we were to be more expressive and express the emotion that his voters are feeling, his voters would rate him as more charismatic. >> what about body long wage? she says president obama had the edge there at the beginning. a strong handshake, a clap of romney's arm but within an hour the president wilted. he's blinking here. he's tired here. >> reporter: also illustrated with one camera angle from behind them. romney is up right. >> here barack obama is dropping his focus. he's beginning to drop away from mitt romney. and here he comes down to his paper. >> reporter: she says president obama dropped his posture often, especially late in the debate. that was a signal to many viewers that romney got the better of him. brian todd, cnn, washington.
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that's the same level it was when president obama took office back in january 2009. actual growth last month was modest. only 1114,000 jobs created. but the labor department ao revised the july and august number to include an 86,000 new jobs. let's talk about it with austin goolsby. austin, thanks very much for coming in. what is this jobs report mean to you? >> well, i think it's a good sign. you know, when i was in the white house, i used to say every month, good or bad, you never want to make too much out of any one month's numbers, because it's plus or minus 100,000 jobs is the margin of error. so there's a lot of variability. taken as an average, this is a solid report. >> when you say plus or minus margin of error of 100,000 jobs,
in other words if 114,000 jobs were created last month it could have been 200,000 or 14,000? >> yeah. and you see in these revisions when they're going back to the previous months where there were 80,000, you say it was actually 46,000 more than they thought the first time around. keep that in mind. the three-month average is a lot more accurate statistic than one month's report. but look, this fairly solid data coming in. and i think over a longer period we've seen moderate progress that's consistent with modest growth in the u.s. and the modest growth in the u.s. is in excess of the growth rate in almost the entire advanced world. it's a very tough period in a world economy, but it's making some slow progress. i do think it's fairly
interesting to compare, if the unemployment rate today is the same as it was when the president took office. just remember what that month was when the president took office. i mean, it was horrible. that was a rate of 7.8, but it was shoing upward by large amounts every month. so i think it's pretty different, comparing the past year to that year. >> and 700,000 jobs or so. you saw the statement that mitt romney released reacting to these latest jobs numbers. this is not what a real recovery looks like, he says. we created fewer jobs in september than in august, fewer jobs in august than in july and we've lost over 600,000 manufacturing jobs since president obama took office. would you call this a real recovery or you think he's on to something over here? >> i mean, we're clearly recovering. i mean, since the end of the
recession, the private sector has added more than 5 million jobs. that said, i think he's right that we're still a long way from calling ourselves recovered. i mean, we went way, way down. and we're coming back and we want to be coming back faster. i think picking the manufacturing employment numbers is somewhat deliberately trying to shape things because you are combining the losses in the recession with the recoveri in the after recession period. and actually, if you look over the last one to two years, manufacturing is having its best two years in several decades during this recovery. >> you know, jack welch, the former ceo of g.e., he tweeted this. because he didn't believe these numbers. he tweeted, unbelievable jobs numbers. these chicago guys will do
anything. can't debate, so change numbers. now, there are others who are suggesting there was political influence over the bureau of labor statistics that are driving these numbers trying to make the president look good only a few weeks before the election. you're familiar with the economists, the statisticians who work there. what do you say to these folks? >> totally, totally insane. look, i'm friends with jack welch and i tweeted him back. i said jack, look, i love you, but on this one you've flat out lost your mind. there's an iron clad fire wall with criminal penalties for anybody at the bls to have any kind of political interference or to release any of the numbers early. it's totally impossible to do that. you've seen all the reputable republicans that have worked with the bureau of labor statistics in the past. come on, say, look, come on,
you've got to be kidding on this thing. i kind of think they were kidding. i hope they were kidding. i mean, there's absolutely no evidence of political changing the numbers. and, if somebody were changing the numbers, why would you make the numbers last month worse than expected? why would you make the pay roll numbers at 114,000 not especially impressive. it just doesn't make any sense. >> all right. austan. thanks very much for coming in. >> great to see you again, wolf. president obama wasn't the only one whose debate performance w performance was criticized.
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president obama wasn't the only one to get some bad reviews for this week's debate performance. there were also some questions about the moderator jim lehrer. watch this. >> governor romney do you have a question you would like to ask the directly. >> the president began the segment so i think i get the last word. >> you get the first word in the next segment. >> is there a specific -- >> let me mention the other one -- >> no, let's not. >> before. >> two minutes is up, sir. >> i had five seconds before you interrupted me was -- >> i sometimes wondered if we even needed a moderator ba we had mitt romney. we should rethink that for the next debate. >> joining us now two journalists from the website daily download.com.
he said this in defending himself. let me start with you. he said, part of my moderator mission was to stay out of the way of the flow and i had no problems with doing so. my only real personal frustration was discovering was not enough time in that more open format to cover every issue that deserved attention. what do you think of the criticism he's been getting. >> let's just talk about what was on twitter. that let's not comment that he made was the most tweeted comment of the entire night through the entire 90 minutes. and i think people were really looking to him to stop the romney bull dozing. and he might not have done that as much as some people might have lookd. >> what do you think. >> i talked to jim lehrer.
he wanted this to be about the candidates and not about him. he said this was a new format in which the candidates weren't tightly restricted to the 90-second responses. he wanted to let them to go at it. he wanted them to challenge each other. there were times i thought he could have jumped in with a follow-up, but he said he would do that on his pbs show. >> i think he should have set that up. >> because the audience didn't know. >> nobody knew that's what he's doing. if that was the way he he decided to change the debate, maybe at the top he could have said we're going to do something different and here's what it is. i think that might have tempered some of the criticism. >> i think what might have worked better if they were all sitting around a small table the three of them and jim lehrer so far below and two of them at podiums. at least when three people are
sitting around a table, the moderator could use body language and stop things. but that's just my assessment. i want you to listen to what candy crowley. she's going to be moderating the second presidential debate, what she said about this. listen to this. >> i'm not sure the minutes. i mean, in the end, this debate is, you know, brought to you by these candidates. and to me, it's better to hear from the ndidates than to hear from the moderator. and i think jim is one of those that always is very intent on trying to get the two of them to talk to one another to kind of try to explore those differences. >> and that's his history. he goes way back to the '80s moderating the presidential debates. he wanted to be part of this conversation. he didn't want to be obviously criticized, but it doesn't go in his nature. he wanted to let them debate. >> right. and i think that maybe some of the criticism was miss plaplace.
i also believe the role of social media is now that one liners and zingers, are what people on twitter and facebook are talking about. and i think that because of that, that's what the media cover, and then that's what becomes the reality of what's happened. >> and that's where i'm disappointed in the media's performance. it's political theater and of course the zingers and the body language are all part of the story. with some exceptions, i haven't seen enough of this, to deal with was romney moving away, walking away from part of his tax plan, did the president exaggerate the number of jobs that he reated. it seems to me the focus has been on the clash and styles and
on much less what was a very substantive debate. >> the social media role is fascinating. i remember you would watch these before social media. there would be four or five people in a room and you would talk about what's going on. now in the process you're reading tweets coming in from all the pun dits out there and you're hearing bill maher say this or somebody else say that and that obviously is going to have an impact on what the final result of what the pundits are going to say on television 90 minutes later. what do you hear from the course of 90 minutes not from a small group of people in the room with you, but from maybe a thousand people you're following. >> it becomes group think at that point. the mass market equivalent. and you know, there were 10.3 million tweets in that 90
minutes. that was more, wolf, than the entire democratic national convention. so not only is social media beginning to drive, but it is really taking off from this point. >> and not only does it happen in real time, you don't have to wait until after, there were a lot of tweets about medicare when the candidates clashed on that. you get a real time snapshot and people don't have to have say television station or the printing press, they have the meg phone of social media. >> and the google search terms simps simpson-bowles was one of them. everyone is now two-screening it or three-screening it. you're not just watching the debate. >> it's the nature of the world right now. howy is going to have a lot more coming up sunday morning on "reliable sources." in the wake of the first
mitt romney's debate remark that he had cut funding for public broadcasting, even though he loves big bird, set off an explosion on social media. get this. on facebook, mentions of big bird increased by 800,000%. we have more on the reaction. >> reporter: most of the debate as expected focused on the core issues of the day. >> let me tell you exactly what obama care did. [ speaking simultaneously ] >> reporter: then there was this. >> i'm sorry, jim, i'm going to stop this subsidy to pbs.
i'm going to stop other things. i like pbs. i love big bird. actually like you, too. but i'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from china to pay for it. ♪ i love to move to the music >> reporter: the mere mention of cutting funds to big bird sent the social media world into high gear. pictures like this,ith big bird on the ropes. president obama on the campaign trail. >> thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on big bird. >> reporter: the pentagon, which has been a close ally of the eight foot tall bird, was asked about it at the briefing. >> i'm not going to get into politics here. i wouldn't want to ruffle any feathers, so to speak. >> reporter: but big bird has some conservatives a little plucked. they argue that it's time to stop funding public broadcast programs like sesame street, npr and the pbs news hour. brian darling is with the conservative heritage foundation. >> it's not well spent at all. using public funds to fund different news outlets, to fund
entertainment programs, is not what the federal government should be doing and furthermore, it's a waste of money when there are so many private resources that are doing very similar functions. we all love big bird, but maybe it's time for him to go out and find a real job in the private sector and stop sponging off the federal government. >> reporter: is big bird part of the infamous 47%? well, here's how it breaks down. the corporation for public broadcasting receives about $445 million a year. 70% of that goes directly to local pbs stations that rely on federal funds and private donations to stay in business. but big bird and the rest of the sesame street gang actually stand on their own feet. 93% of that program is paid for by licensing fees and corporate underwriting. so who could be hurt? pbs president says stations, particularly those in rural parts of the country, will go dark without the federal dollars. >> for many families that do not
have access to computers, that may not have books in the home, they have televisions and public broadcasting is really their way of accessing content that will help their children have the basic skills that will enable them to be successful in school. >> reporter: pbs says what they receive is less than a hundredth of a percentage point of federal government. even big bird weighed in, saying quote, my bedtime is usually 7:45 but i was really tired yesterday and fell asleep at 7:00. did i miss anything last night? >> it's the same man but sometimes a different sound. >> i'm the son of a black man. >> where's your dollar? >> i can no more disown him -- >> you got some better speakers. >> we take a closer look at president obama's changing accents.
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here's a look at this hour's hot shots. in australia, waves crash against the rocks after a storm. and monks protest outside the bangladesh high commission. in london, a woman stands in the rain room. a new art installation. in germany, a seal looks out of a wicker basket before she's returned to the wild. hot shots. pictures coming in from around the world. is president obama flip-flopping when it comes to his accent? here's cnn's jeanne moos. >> reporter: same president. >> the obama presidency. >> reporter: two different accents. >> i'm the son of a black man. where's your dollar? i can no more disown him -- you got some better speakers. that made me cringe. in this country. that may seem jarring to the
untrained ear. >> reporter: what seems especially jarring to some conservative ears is that the president's speech changes when he addresses an african-american audience. >> the falseness here is overwhelming. >> reporter: but some linguists say the falseness would have been if the president didn't change his speech. especially considering he's african-american. >> that audience would say what makes him such a stuffed shirt. >> reporter: conservative critics like sean hannity are attacking president obama's delivery. >> he went into al gore preacher mode and republicans have the wrong agenda. >> reporter: for instance, when al gore addressed the naacp. >> the tap root of racism is hundreds of years long. >> reporter: what critics call pandering. >> we got too many daddies, not acting like daddies. >> reporter: linguists call accommodating. >> as linguists we find this kind of switching back and forth to be pretty natural, pretty automatic, and very often, even outside the conscious control of the speaker. >> reporter: but accommodating
is harder to pull off, when it's not your natural dialect. >> who let the dogs out? >> reporter: mitt romney seemed to realize that when he poked fun at himself talking southern. >> morning, y'all. good to be with you. >> reporter: hillary clinton was mocked as kentucky fried hillary when she went over the top at an african-american church. >> i come too far from where i started from. >> reporter: in this case -- hillary was actually performing lines from a gospel hymn made famous by reverend james cleveland. what the politicians do is not to be confused with an actual medical condition called foreign accent syndrome. it changed this florida woman's accent following a stroke from this -- >> we've got fabulous things -- >> reporter: to this. >> i felt like i was going bloody crazy. >> reporter: for politicians, acquiring an accent -- >> the miracle of that baby -- >> reporter: sometimes can't be overcome.